Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Four votes in it

I suppose today is one of those days that either Paul or Rachel would have something wise to say as forward thinking members of the Church of England, but as you know they are otherwise busy. However, as all I have to do on their big day is shower, get dressed, do a little ushering and enjoy the day I have the time to write something.

Today's vote at the General Synod on whether to allow women Bishop's was interesting to this outsider (although for one year I worshiped in the CofE). The House of Bishops who know exactly what is entailed in being a Bishop voting overwhelmingly, 44 for 3 against with 2 abstentions, for allowing women to do just what they do. The House of Clergy was tighter 148 for and 45 against, but that was a three quarters majority well over the two thirds required. Therefore those that actually are trained in exegesis and emerged in theology as part of their daily lives found no objection to women Bishops.

It was the House of Laity that voted 132 for and 74 against, often citing 'biblical' standards for women in the church as the reason for their objection. Of course those biblical standards are limited in their limits, very few women in the Church of England adhere to every restriction placed on them by the bible.

But looking at the voting other words this was four votes short of the 66% required in the House of Laity, in total 324 eligible voters were for and 122 against or 76%. So has this issue been kicked into the long grass for a while, maybe, though under Article 8 (1C) of the Constitution of the General Synod as the Archbishop of York mentioned when declaring the result the House of Laity Presidents, the Prolocutors, Chair and Vice-Chair of the House of Laity give permission and reasons in writing for another vote this Synod. The Archbishop of York did say that as the Presidents of the three Houses will have met by the start of business tomorrow morning there may be a further statement at that point.

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